LAKE WORTH, FL (WFLX) - It's the buzz around Palm Beach County these days. Two Major League Baseball teams, the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros, are looking at sites in the area for a new spring training complex.
On Sunday, the owner of the Houston Astros, Jim Crane, said he and his team want a deal in the next six months.
Lake Worth officials have asked Palm Beach County consider John Prince Park as a site for a spring training complex. The park is about 730 acres. A spring training complex would need less than 100 acres. "Take a realistic look at John Prince Park," says Scott Maxwell, Vice Mayor of Lake Worth. "Do we have the space? Is it plausible? Does it make sense?"
Maxwell said there are no formal plans or designs. It's an idea. But some people don't like it. "I'm not adverse to ballparks. I just don't think the site is appropriate," said resident Don Bernard.
"I love baseball, but you don't take a beautiful asset like this and destroy it in order to put a stadium," says resident Pam Bergsma.
A group of residents have a petition against a spring training complex. They worry it will hurt the environment and increase traffic. "It's going to drive a lot of the wildlife away," said resident Gordon Mehl.
Residents don't believe Major League Baseball will hit an economic home run. "There's no economical small businesses surrounding here," said Bernard, who lives near Lake Osborne. "It's all solid residential."
But Maxwell cautions residents to give the idea a chance. He says it would bring in a lot of money and people to the area. "I think in terms of economics, in terms of exposure, I think it would be phenomenal," says Maxwell.
There are several sites being considered in Palm Beach County. No decision has been made. It will depend a lot on Major League Baseball.